HONOLULU — A new affordable housing community for families in need has officially opened in Hawaii.
Kahauiki Village, which opened Friday, consists of about 150 modular homes previously built for Tohoku, Japan tsunami victims.
Thirty families, who were previously homeless, were given the keys to their new homes. The concept was inspired by the plantation villages of Hawaii’s past — places where people work as one to create a thriving community.
“I think it’s amazing how the community really came together to build such a wonderful place for me and other families that really need a place to live,” said Kahauiki Village resident Kaimbrea Vance.
The project is the brainchild of businessman Duane Kurisu. Depending on the size of the unit, tenants pay between $700 and $900 per month. Kurisu said all of the money will go toward maintaining the community.
“They all have to be families. They can’t be single individuals, and they all have young children,” said project developer Mel Kaneshige. “We want to be able to break the cycle of homelessness for these families by having them come here and have a fresh start.”
There are one- and two-bedroom units available starting at $725 a month, which includes all utilities.
There’s also a daycare and preschool on site.
The state, which owns the land, transferred the lot to the City and County of Honolulu, which then leased the property to Aio Foundation for 10 years, with the option to extend, at $1.00 a year.
“When we’re all done, Kahauiki Village will be home to over 620 adults and children, or half of the homeless population on Oahu that are in transitional homes today,” Kurisu said.
Work on the final phase of this project is already underway. The final 123 units are expected to be complete sometime next year.